Monday, 14 January 2008

Welfare reform needed to tackle family breakdown and long-term poverty

Giles McNeill backs plans to help people get back to work in West Lindsey and achieve success

Giles McNeill, Nettleham Parish Councillor, today added his support to calls to reduce long-term welfare dependency, tackle long-term poverty and re-create stable families.

The policy ideas entitled “Work for Welfare” were launched by Conservative leader, David Cameron. They aim to help people find fulfilling jobs, while continuing to support those who genuinely cannot work. Currently across Gainsborough Constituency, there are 3,450 people on Incapacity Benefit and 1,110 on Jobseeker’s Allowance. Under the new Conservative proposals:
Respect for those who cannot work:
Recipients of Incapacity Benefit who really cannot work will receive continued support and will remain outside the return-to-work process.

Employment for those who can:
Every out-of-work benefit claimant will be expected to work or prepare for work. There will be a comprehensive programme of support for job seekers including training, development and work experience. Welfare-to-work services will be provided by the private and voluntary sectors on a payment by results basis.

Assessments for those claiming benefits:
There will be rapid assessments of all new and existing claimants for out-of-work benefits.

Limits to claiming out of work benefits:
People who refuse to join a return-to-work programme will lose the right to claim out-of-work benefits until they do. People who refuse to accept reasonable job offers could lose the right to claim out-of-work benefits.

Community work:
Those who claim for more than two years out of three will be required to help out on community work programmes.

End Tax Credit discrimination:
The savings from these reforms will be used to end the discrimination against couples in the Tax Credits system.
Giles McNeill said:
"Real welfare reform will help reverse the disastrous rise in family breakdown under Labour and tackle the persistent and often hidden poverty that shames our nation."

"Labour’s old politics on welfare reform simply are not working. Higher numbers of Incapacity Benefit claimants and high youth unemployment show that the policies of the last ten years have failed. It’s time for change."

"Rather than Whitehall taking responsibility away from people and making them dependent, we need to help people across West Lindsey to take responsibility for themselves and achieve success and independence."
The full ‘Green Paper’ entitled ‘Work for Welfare’was launched on 8th January 2008and can be downloaded here.

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